Cindy Chung to Serve as First Asian American Judge for the Third Circuit

February 15, 2023 | by Wong Fleming

Wong Fleming commends Cindy Chung, a leading federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh, who was nominated on Monday to serve as judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. Chung will be the first Asian American to hold this position, and one of five women currently serving on the bench.

Asian Americans are still one of the most underrepresented minority groups in the federal judiciary despite gains over the past five years. As of 2022, only 6% of all judges in any federal court were Asian American.1

About Cindy Chung

Throughout her career, Ms. Chung has been exclusively a prosecutor, and has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania since 2014. She was nominated and confirmed to lead her office as U.S. Attorney in 2021. Ms. Chung’s practice has concentrated in both civil and criminal litigation, and she has worked on a variety of cases, including those involving fraud, public corruption, and national security.

Ms. Chung’s impressive professional accomplishments are complemented by numerous awards for her service and dedication to the legal community. These include the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service and the Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award. She is also actively involved in various organizations and serves as the Vice-Chair of the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and the Chair of the U.S. Department of Justice Juvenile Violence Working Group. Ms. Chung is committed to promoting diversity in the legal profession as is a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association in Pennsylvania and the Allegheny County Bar Association. Ms. Chung also helps mentor the next generations of lawyers through her volunteer work with the Allegheny County Mock Trial and teaching a class on Federal Hate Crimes at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Ms. Chung was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1975 to immigrant parents from South Korea. She attended Yale University for her bachelor’s degree and worked as a Yale-in-China Fellow in China for two years before attending Columbia Law School. While in law school, Chung interned for Justice Sonia Sotomayor and went on to clerk for the Honorable Myron Thompson after graduating in 2002.



1 Tyler Dang et al., A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law 2.0: Identity and Action in Challenging Times, (American Bar Foundation 2022), 42